The question of the moment, though, is whether they can cover up fraud.
What you might have missed last week, during the debate over the debt ceiling being raised, was the trigger for a huge dip in the bond market. Someone placed a single buy of one billion dollars on the bond futures market. One of the largest single purchases in recent history, betting on the US economy getting worse and our credit rating getting downgraded.
The question that needs to be asked is, was it insider trading?
I believe what happened is a debt-ceiling deal was done in Washington and leaked to a major proprietary trader. Everyone knows the debt negotiations in Washington have been an extreme game of brinksmanship between political parties, but now someone knows how that game played out.So, who was willing to bet that, two weeks later, the US credit rating would be downgraded from AAA to AA+?
This had the hallmarks of one of the largest bond shops in the world knowing something the rest of the market didn't.
The number of shops or even central banks that can take on this level of market risk is extremely small.
For that matter, was it somebody in Congress? Somebody who had a hand in the idiotic behavior of the GOP these past few months, which directly caused the downgrade?
For example, Eric Cantor was one of the key reasons that the budget ceiling negotiations didn't reach an agreement for so long, and when the economy took a hit like it just did, Cantor made a bundle.
(Here's a new phrase for you: "Conflict of interest." Look it up.)
After all, if insider trading is illegal on Wall Street, it seems to me that it should be illegal in Congress, too. It isn't, but it should be.
It's never going to happen. Why would a Congresscritter vote to stop making money based on the laws he's passing? Which leads to a similar question: why would Congress vote to raise taxes on the richest Americans, when the majority of them - including most of the new Teabaggers - are millionaires?